So it turns out the NBA might actually think LeBron James is a master of Kung fu.
James was called for a flagrant foul-one during the fourth quarter of the Heat’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and the league reviewed the play and determined James’ flying elbow to Roy Hibbert’s jaw received the appropriate call from officials. A flagrant-one, according to the NBA rulebook, is “unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.”
James’ flagrant foul came after James had been hammered a few times by the Pacers’ defenders near the basket. The atmosphere felt more like the playoffs rather than a regular-season game in late March. One two occasions, officials reviewed personal fouls against James to determine whether or not they deserved an upgrade to flagrant, and James went 14 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Afterwards, James was asked if his elbow on Hibbert was retaliation for earlier fouls.
"If I could jump in the air, elbow somebody in the face and still try to finish the play, I must be a Kung fu master or something," James said. "His face happened to hit my elbow, or my elbow happened to hit his face."